The men of our parliament have it in their hands to make 2015 the year Ireland stood up for all of its women. Photograph: Getty Images

It might not seem like it at the moment, but good things have actually happened to some women in the world this year. There were massive reductions on(...)

NBA king LeBron James was criticised by British media when he put his arm around Kate Middleton while wearing a sweaty post-game shirt after the Cleveland Cavaliers beat Brooklyn Nets in New York. Photograph: Neilson Barnard/The New York Times

The US was just recovering from the royal visit of Wills and Kate to New York and Washington when the tabloid gods rained down another celebrity ne(...)

Get away at home If you want a little pre-Christmas detox, the Cliff House Hotel (thecliffhousehotel.com) in Ardmore, Co Waterford is runnin(...)

Maryland governor Martin O’Malley: unable to ensure a continued Democratic presence in the State House in Annapolis. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Brendan Boyle will become the only member of Congress with an Irish-born parent, after being elected to the House of Representatives in Tuesday’s US (...)

 Oscar de la Renta who died at the age of 82 this week. Photograph: EPA/Carlos Ortega

The fashion designer Oscar de la Renta, who has died aged 82, arrived in New York in 1963 with letters of introduction to the editor-in-chief of Vogue(...)

Renowned political campaign strategist Roger Fisk addressing a group of Irish business leaders at An Post’s Early Bird Club yesterday

When Roger Fisk, a senior election strategist for Barack Obama, did the early Google searches on his man’s chance of getting to the White House, wo(...)

Julia Pierson prepares to testify before a White House committee last month. Photograph: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Did Julia Pierson get pushed off the glass cliff? Writing in the New Republic, Bryce Covert suggests that Pierson’s sex – she was the first woman to r(...)

US citizen Matthew Todd Miller (C) standing trial at the Supreme Court in Pyongyang, North korea, 10 days ago. Photograph:  EPA/KCNA South Korea handout. 1:05

Matthew Miller, an American held in North Korea since April for “hostile acts”, began a six-year hard labour sentence today that he said involved f(...)

Queen Elizabeth II’s understated but significant words of insight on the troubled history of Anglo-Irish relations at a state dinner in Dublin in 2011 are included in the new edition of the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations: “With the benefit of historical hindsight, we can all see things which we would wish had been done differently or not at all.” Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

As Scotland goes to the polls today to decide on its independence, it is interesting to leaf through this week’s newly published eighth edition of (...)

File photograph of tourists lining the Dublin parade on St Patrick’s Day. Dublin has been voted the 5th friendliest city in the world.Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

It seems that Ireland’s long-held reputation for being welcoming is not just staying but improving as Dublin has been voted the fifth friendliest city(...)